Category Archives: Technology

Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI: Reason #5

by Asif Khan

Reason #5: VDI Licensing is a Pain in the @$$!

So you’ve done your due diligence. You read Reason #1 and made the case that desktop consolidation is different than server consolidation. You obtained executive sponsorship and presented a compelling case to move forward.

Continue reading Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI: Reason #5


Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI (Reason #4)

by Asif Khan
Reason #4: Scaling VDI is Hard
It starts out innocently enough. A customer is interested in trying out VDI and wants to do a pilot implementation on non-production hardware to see how it works before they “run it up the flagpole” to get budget, executive sponsorship, etc.
In a week or two, they have a working VDI platform and they start adding users. At first, the VDI admins get virtual desktops for themselves and then look for target users, usually task workers that we VDI geeks lovingly refer to as “low hanging fruit.”
Before they know it, they’ve got a couple hundred users on their pilot install and guess what? It works flawlessly! Note: my experience is with VMware View…your mileage may vary.

I Love/Hate my iPad (and the promise of Windows 8)

by Asif Khan

I’m writing this from Seat 3F on Southwest, returning home from San Jose. The guy in 3E is encroaching on my personal space with his elbows and, um, wide stance. The guy in 2F just reclined his seat all the way back. No way I can pull out a laptop under these conditions. I love my iPad.

Continue reading I Love/Hate my iPad (and the promise of Windows 8)

Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI (Reason #3)

By Asif Khan

Reason #3: End users are resistant to change

Pop quiz: how many of you are using VDI today as your PRIMARY desktop? I thought so. Don’t feel bad…I tried it over the years but quickly lost interest each time. Truth is that VDI, as it is today, pretty much sucks for most of us.

Continue reading Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI (Reason #3)

Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI (Reason #2)

by Asif Khan

Reason #2: IT Organizations are Resistant to Change

Last summer, my team at EMC kicked off a major sales campaign for a multi-pronged converged infrastructure project. The client had three initiatives in mind: 1) consolidate their infrastructure so that it can be more easily managed and supported, 2) develop an automated disaster recovery scheme between their two main data centers and 3) establish a VDI environment for “up to three thousand users.” We were to spend five days onsite to understand the needs and requirements of each organization impacted by the proposed migration.

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Five Reasons NOT to Implement VDI (Reason #1)

Reason #1:  VDI is not the same thing as server consolidation

by Asif Khan

Over the years, I have made the financial and technical case for implementing VDI to many potential clients. But after experiencing one too many projects stalling after the POC stage, I started to dig a little deeper into why so many VDI projects fail or why the sponsors lose interest even though they almost unanimously agree that the technology works. Based on my anecdotal evidence, I now kick off most VDI presentations or campaigns with my five reasons NOT to implement VDI. I believe if the client understands the risks upfront, they face a much better chance of success in implementing this very cool (and cost-saving) technology. Here’s why.

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Are Virtual Desktops (Finally) About to go Mainstream? Part 2

Part 2 – The VDI Building Blocks

by Asif Khan

Part 1 discussed the “what” of making VDI more affordable to the masses. In this segment, let’s discuss the “how.”

With the release of the Cisco UCS C260 M2, all the technology components are now in place to build the ultimate VDI appliance. With a little software tweaking, we can dramatically cut the cost of implementing VDI.

Some smart readers commented on part 1 that the C260 is a perfect catalyst for HyperV or XenDesktop. And it may very well be. For the scope of this post, let’s keep the configuration confined to Vmware, EMC and Cisco (only because I’m familiar with this combo). However, other vendors’ technologies may also work if some of the advanced features are available. A clever system integrator can definitely build something interesting here.
Continue reading Are Virtual Desktops (Finally) About to go Mainstream? Part 2

Are Virtual Desktops (Finally) About to go Mainstream? Part 1

Part 1 – Cisco May Have Just Released the Ultimate VDI Appliance

by Asif Khan

For a few years now, industry experts have believed that virtual desktops would become as pervasive as virtualized servers. Some even believed that this transformational technology would eventually make “Wintel” desktops obsolete. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I have worked with dozens of customers over the years on VDI pilot projects. The customer typically loved the concept but most of those projects fizzled after the pilot. Among other things, cost and complexity were cited as reasons to stick with *business as usual* (an upcoming post will discuss why most VDI projects fail. The reasons are remarkably consistent from customer to customer).

I’ve long advocated that a traditional data center architecture is not the right one for VDI. The economics simply do not work. Now, those in the know will argue that adopting VDI is not about cutting costs–that it is more about gaining capabilities that you do not get with a PC on every desk (ie better governance, easier backup and restore, etc). I would counter that no CIO approves any technology project unless it reduces one or more of the following: 1) time to market, 2) risk or 3) cost. I haven’t figured out how VDI can improve time to market. And I would argue that VDI increases risk because it replaces something that already works. So unless VDI can reduce the cost of delivering a desktop to the end user (ie make it cheaper than buying a PC), VDI is not going to take off. That’s where Cisco comes in.
Continue reading Are Virtual Desktops (Finally) About to go Mainstream? Part 1

Why I Chose the HTC Thunderbolt Over the Apple iPhone4

by Asif Khan

It was finally time to upgrade my Jurassic-era iPhone3G. Response times were starting to slow anyway but after I upgraded to iOS4, the phone’s performance became unacceptable. It would hang and crash and freeze intermittently. I am usually on the road for my job and I demand a lot from my mobile phone but I just couldn’t count on my geriatric 3G anymore. I looked hard at the Verizon iPhone4 but after a brutal face-off, decided to switch to Android. I picked up the HTC Thunderbolt 4G LTE last Friday. I am writing this as a primer for those lucky nerds who are about to navigate their own way through the myriad of excellent smartphone options that are about to hit the market. Following is a regurgitation of my thought process for leaving Apple for the next big thing.

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